Citation Guide: American Psychological Association (APA)

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Basic Format for Citing a Dissertation or Thesis

Give the author, date, and title before identifying the type of work (doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis). End with the name of the database and the identifying number, or the URL


West, R. (2012). Hostility toward the unattractive: Challenging current “sexual harassment” law (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (AAI 3545458).

Basic Format for Citing a Government Publication

Give the name of the department, office, agency, or committee that issued the report as the author. If the document has a report or special file number, place that in parentheses after the title. If the publication was found online, provide the DOI or URL.


United States Congress. (2015). Economic indicators, October 2015. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Basic Format for Citing a Legal Document

Legal publications have their own unique format depending on the type and source of the document. They should be treated the same way as reference entries with no author; alphabetize them by the first significant word entry other than A, An, or The. 


Court Decisions

Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Location and Date).

Meyer v. State of Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (S.Ct. 625 1923)


Name of Act, Volume Source § section number (year).

Farm Credit Act, 42 U.S.C.A. sec. § 410 (1959).

Legislative Materials (enacted Federal bills and resolutions)

xx. Res. xxx, xxx Cong., Volume Source page (year) (enacted)

S. Res. 223, 103d Cong., 2nd Sess., 140 Cong. Rec. 6871 (1993) (enacted).

Administrative and Executive Materials

Exec. Order No. xxxx, 3 C.F.R. Page (year).

Exec. Order No. 12149, 3 C.F.R. 420-22 (1979).


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